United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
BRADLEY MURRAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
brings this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(3),
seeking judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security denying his claim for
supplemental security income benefits. The parties have
consented to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Magistrate
Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), for all
proceedings in this Court. (Docs. 17 & 18 (“In
accordance with provisions of 28 U.S.C. §636(c) and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 73, the parties in this case consent to have a
United States magistrate judge conduct any and all
proceedings in this case, . . . order the entry of a final
judgment, and conduct all post-judgment
proceedings.”)). Upon consideration of the
administrative record, Plaintiff's brief, the
Commissioner's brief, and the arguments of counsel at the
January 10, 2019 hearing before the Court, it is determined
that the Commissioner's decision denying benefits should
be reversed and remanded for further proceedings not
inconsistent with this decision.
through his mother, filed an application for supplemental
security income benefits on April 28, 2015, alleging
disability beginning on June 1, 2013. (See Tr.
152-55.) His claim was initially denied on August 26, 2015
(see Tr. 94-100) and, following Plaintiff's
written request for a hearing before an Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) (see Tr. 103-04), a
hearing was conducted before an ALJ on November 28, 2016 (Tr.
35-82). On March 20, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision finding
that the claimant was not disabled and, therefore, not
entitled to supplemental security income benefits. (Tr.
10-24.) More specifically, the ALJ went to the fifth step of
the five-step sequential evaluation process and determined
that Hunter has the residual functional capacity to perform
those unskilled jobs identified by the vocational expert
(“VE”) during the administrative hearing
(compare Tr. 22-23 with Tr. 78-79). On
April 24, 2017, the Plaintiff filed a written request for
review of the ALJ's unfavorable decision (Tr. 151) and,
on December 20, 2017, the Appeals Council denied Hunter's
request for review (Tr. 1-3). Thus, the hearing decision
became the final decision of the Commissioner of Social
alleges disability due to Asperger's Syndrome. The ALJ
made the following relevant findings:
2. The claimant has the following severe impairment: Autism
Spectrum Disorder (20 CFR 416.920(c)).
3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
4. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform a full range of work at all
exertional levels but with the following non-exertional
limitations: limited to simple, routine, and repetitive tasks
and limited to low stress jobs, defined as only simple
decision making required with no interaction with the public
and only occasional interaction with co-workers.
5. The claimant has no past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).
6. The claimant was born on June 20, 1994, and was 20 years
old, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-49, on
the date the application was filed (20 CFR 416.963).
7. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).
8. Transferability of job skills is not an issue because the
claimant does not have past relevant work (20 CFR 416.968).
9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant can perform (20 CFR 416.969 and
10. The claimant has not been under a disability, as defined
in the Social Security Act, since March 16, 2015, the date